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This is a brief guide to monking with links to some useful articles. I will update this page with more info and links to monk resources when I have time.


Common Monk Builds:


  • Assess your enemies before engaging in battle and switch to appropriate equipment
  • Stay on your defensive weaponset and switch to appropriate set for each cast
  • Stay in the backline, in range of your team, and especially your other monk
  • Pre-prot and pre-veil vulnerable people
  • Hold Alt to see who is overextending in PvE
  • The battlefield, the radar, and the party window – all should be watched closely
  • Start running before an approaching enemy can reach you
  • Observe cast animations and the direction casters face to predict a spike
  • Don’t overheal and don’t keep everyone at full health
  • Inform your team of important hexes, conditions, blackouts, diverted skills, and annoying harassments on you
  • If death is immunent, switch to negative energy set
  • Practice monking in RA with party panel turned off
  • Play other professions and learn their key skills
  • Use only minor runes for most builds


+7 Energy
This armor is not very useful. The only time I use energy armor is when I am HP/LoD spammer in elite PvE missions. You job as a monk is to keep others and yourself alive. I would take extra health or defense armor instead. Good energy management ftw!

+35 Health
This is one of the best and most versatile armors. I had many moments in HA when I survived thanks to 10-30 extra health. It does make a difference and is a good choice for most situations. Especially good for an infuser.

+10 AL while Enchanted
This is a good armor if you maintain enchantments most of the time. Yes, it may get shattered in pvp and sometimes in pve, but you can get good protection from both physical and elemental attacks.

+10 AL vs Physical
This armor is very good for a pvp monk. Silly wammos, sins, and dervs always try to catch a monky. Cripple them with Return ๐Ÿ˜› You may run into some problems if they use elemental weapons though…

+10 AL vs Elemental
This armor is useful in E dense PvE areas and E dominated pvp meta.

Keep in mind these stats on hit distribution if you want to mix +10 AL vs X armor with other armor:

Head: 12.5%
Chest: 37.5%
Arms: 12.5%
Legs: 25%
Feet: 12.5%

Some people use +10 AL vs Physical on chest and legs and put health or energy armor on the rest. Equip Rune of Vitae on parts of the armor that do not have runes needed for your attributes.


These are suggested weapons – you can always change them to fit your playstyle.

How to Swap Weapons

Weapon swaps have delay during actions such as attacking or casting. You’ll have a significant delay between the end of the spell casting and the actual weapon swap if you try to swap during casting. To swap successfully do the following:

1) Wait for the spell or attack to finish
2) Break your current state by moving or hitting Esc
3) Swap weapons

Preventing weapon swap delay

Weaponset 1. Defense (+23 AL)

  • Crippling Axe/Sword/Spear of Defense/Fortitude: +5 Energy (Cantha, Shichiroji)
  • Shield of Fortitude: +10 AL vs X


I really like katana ^_^ but you can get other weapons from Elonian collectors: Shashi, Gahnlar. An alternative is a Suntouched Spear (Hamri). The best weapon is a spear because of ranged attack.


A good monk has many shields appropriate for various situations. See my monk shield guide for details.

Fortitude or Defense Mod?

In areas where armor ignoring damage is prevalent, fortitude mod would be better than defense mod. For PvP it would be best to get fortitude mod to compensate for the health lost while swapping. Acquire weapons with defense and fortitude mods and equip them depending on situation.

Something I never understood about shield sets…

Weaponset 2. Emergency (+30 Energy)

Never stay on this set too long: swap, cast, and swap back. It would be best to get focus of aptitude for HCT 20%, but there is no collector item with these stats.

These weapons remain more or less constant from build to build, but the next set varies greatly depending on a build. The following are some of the possibilities:

Weaponset 3. Main Set

With this weaponset probability of HSR is 36%.

An alternative is to put both HCT and HSR on wand and focus

Here you have both HCT and HSR 36%.

You don’t have to get green version of the weapons – they are readily available via collectors (very nice collector search) or weaponsmiths (wiki listing).

Multipurpose Set: Hale Staff of Enchanting: +5^50, HSR 20%

Most good monk builds combine prot and heal spells. It would be best to have one weaponset for prot and another one for heal, but if you don’t want to swap weapons, you can use this multipurpose set (it is ok for PvE, but if you are planning to do any serious PvP, you better learn to swap).

Weaponset 4. Efficiency Set

The purpose of efficiency set is to improve effectiveness of your skills or provide defense against energy denial.

Energy Hiding (-7 Energy)

The purpose of this set is to protect yourself from energy denial. This set is also helpful when you use skills such as Purge Signet.

  • Crippling Axe of Fortitude: +15%, -5 Energy (Cantha, Gertrud)
  • Forgotten Fan: +5 AL, -2 Energy, +30 (Tyria, Wind Rider drop in The Falls)

You could use an axe because mods are less expensive compared to a sword, but a spear is the best weapon because it combines functionality of a wand and a martial weapon. Crippling mod is not essential, but helps if you play Mo/A. Some people prefer a shield to a fan because a shield provides more defense.

Energy Drain / Mantra of Recall

People don’t use these anymore, but I wanted to list them for historic purposes.

Spell / Enchantment Efficiency

If you don’t see any energy denial threat, you can use a weapon slot to improve utility of your spells. Many monk builds use a combination of heal and prot skills. You can put HSR 20% on both wand and focus in one monk line on your main set and equip your efficiency set with these weapons in another line. For example, if you run RC Prot, your main set will have HSR 20% Prot wand and focus, but when you use Gift of Health, you can switch to your efficiency set with HSR 20% Heal. If you use enchantments, you can put +20% enchantment weapons in this slot. For example, switch to Kepkhet’s Refuge when you use Aegis.


  • Wand: HCT 20%, HSR 20%
  • Focus: HCT 20%, HSR 20%


Adept Staff of Enchanting: HCT 20%, HCT 20%, HSR 20%, Ehcnantments 20%

Weapons for special occasions

  • Offensive weapon: Protective or Healing Rod with HSR 20%, 15^50, customized, dealing holy damage
  • Energy/Adrenaline Gain: Zealous Spear of Fortitude. About 0.33 net energy gain per second.You can trigger effects that activate on hit such as Reversal of Fortune, interrupt dazed targets and trappers.
  • Aggro Prevention: Equip a sword/axe/spear and monsters will bother you less. For example, Shiroken use Shroud of Silence on you if you wield a caster weapon, but they don’t use it if you have a melee weapon.

Kiting: Damage Reduction Through Positioning and Movement

Movement in battle makes a big difference. Standing still while enemies attack you is detrimental to both you and your team (well, unless you are a farmer or a tank), but effective movement can significantly reduce damage. This guide is based on both my own experience and published literature.

What is kiting?
Movement to avoid damage

– Movement Speed: Forward > Sideward > Backward
– While running, any attack on the back will be a critical hit
– Shield bonus applies only to the front of you body

How to do it?
– Observe the battlefield and the radar
– Be aware of the environment. Avoid the obstacles and do not get bodyblocked.
– Move before an enemy can reach you
– Stay within range of your team and especially monks. Move in an ellipse around your midline / backline.
– Lure your opponents away from their team and snare them if possible
– Know what skills your opponent is using (C โ€“ target closest enemy). Any spells you cast while observing your enemy will be used on yourself.

– Hide behind objects. If no objects are nearby, try to gain height advantage
– Move from side to side
– If a Choking Gas ranger is on you, listen to the sound of arrows hitting you and time your spells between the attacks.

– Move out of their range (approximately an agro bubble)
– Do NOT stand in AoE
– If a blackout mesmer is coming close to you, run away and warn your team of the possible incoming spike.

– If a melee attack with Bull’s Charge is imminent, face your opponent and take hits to avoid knockdown.
– Kite in wards if possible.
– Running in zigzag pattern can reduce damage
– Do NOT try to move when you are knocked down. Attempted movement while being knocked down will result in critical hits. Move only after you are completely back up.
– Lure your chaser into Ward Against Foes, your teammates, or other obstacles.

Teleporting Melee with a Snare
– Switch to an appropriate shield, face them, cast defensive spells, try to remove a snare, and move out of range
– If you have the skills, teleport by using Return or by canceling Shadow of Haste with Dash.

Bodyblocking Attempts
Use your mouse for movement for quick and precise escape

Useful Controls
– Use both keyboard and mouse for movement depending on the situation
– Use X for a quick 180 turn
– Use C for targeting closest enemy and see what skills they use
– Hold right button of the mouse when you need to change the view quickly

Helping Others in Kiting
– Slow down or bodyblock an opponent who is chasing your teammate
– Remove conditions / hexes from your teammate and prot her/him.

– Watch top GvG matches
– Practice against NPC masters at Battle Isles
– Play dogeball with your friends using Lightning Orb

Kiting: Please Do It
Kiting and Damage Mitigation Through Movement
Advanced Topics on Kiting

Energy Management


  • Signet of Devotion (Divine Favor): 66hp free heal at DF 9
  • Signet of Rejuvenation (Healing Prayers): 71 unconditional and 142hp if ally is casting/attacking free heal at HP 14
  • Purge Signet (No Attribute): Swap to negative energy weapon set for removal of all hexes and conditions with minimal or no energy loss
  • Zealous Benediction (Elite, Protection Prayers): 170hp heal costing 3 energy if health under 50% at Prot 14


  • Power Drain (Inspiration): +14 net energy gain at Insp 9; Interrupt
  • Channeling (Inspiration): Good for Heroes Ascent mostly

Mo/E – Glyph of Lesser Energy (Energy Storage): Two free heals for 10e spells

Mo/W – Bonetti’s Defense (Tactics): Free energy; Defense

Your most important energy management is wise skill use ๐Ÿ™‚

Hex Removal

Holy Veil (No Attribute) – Pre-veil allies for quick hex removal and longer hex cast time by enemies. One of the best hex removal skills.
Deny Hexes – Useful with other divine skills recharging. Keep in mind that it counts itself as a recharging skill. For example, if you have two recharging divine skills, Deny Hexes will remove three hexes.
Purge Signet (No Attribute) – Remove all hexes with minimal or no energy loss
Divert Hexes (Elite, Protection Prayers) – Remove up to three hexes and conditions and heal your ally
Blessed Light (Elite, Divine Favor) – Remove one hex and condition
Cure Hex (Healing Prayers) – Remove a hex and heal

Condition Removal

Restore Condition (Elite, Protection Prayers) – Remove all conditions and heal
Dismiss Condition (Protection Prayers) – Remove condition and heal if enchanted; self condition removal
Mending Touch (Protection Prayers) – Remove two condition from touched ally; self condition removal
Draw Conditions – Good for removing all conditions from RC monk.

Defensive Skills

Hex Breaker

Shield Bash + Balanced Stance

Vital Boon + Conviction
Aura of Thorns
Signet of Pious Restraint

Dark Escape + Return
Shadow of Haste + Dash

Grasping Earth


Guild Wars Guru

Guild Wars Online

Team Quitter Forums

Guild Wars Gamependium

11 thoughts on “Monk Guide

  1. This was it!

    This was the guide that made me go out and spend 50k on monk items that are only useful in pvp XD

    Amazing though<3 I was a bit clueless when I started my monk up, and this guide that I randomly googled(and that basics one on guru)I remember helped me when I started.

    Now I’m glad I had the chance to meet you ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh boy, 50K! >.< I hope they were worth it. Anything useful in PvP is also useful in PvE ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am glad this guide helped you to start your monking career ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ok i though of avoid to sleep and read it, a really nice BASIC guide, but i got some questions like For example in HA you are getting chased by a warrior, and how wud u know who to prot if u cant see what they have on them coz u are running from the war?

  4. Almost 6AM… You stayed up all night, didn’t you? While occasional all-nighter is fine, it is best to reserve night time for sleep.

    Oh, they still have warriors in HA? I thought it is populated mainly by rangers now ๐Ÿ˜› I don’t quite understand what you mean by “what they have on them”. Perhaps, you mean that it is difficult to see who is attacking whom? Yes, it can be somewhat crazy in HA, because many battles are just big pile of bodies fighting in one circle, unlike GvG where you often have front-, mid-, and backline. It is more difficult to see the battlefield when you are kiting, but that becomes easier with practice. Zooming out to the max may ease field assessment. Looking at the bars periodically might help because you might see a spike coming once someone is hexed, but it is best to spend most of the the time observing the field instead the bars.

    A single warrior or even a train is not a big problem in most cases. You could just run in circles protting people as usual. The key is communication. Tell your team that you have a warrior on you. Put a Guardian on yourself and Balanced Stance if you have it. Try to lure and snare if you have Return or Grasping Earth (most people run Channeling though).

    Let me know if you have further questions. Former Idiot Savants website used to host extensive literature on PvP, but they shut it down. Most of the current PvP discussion is going on Team Quitter forums. I encourage you to explore this and other monk resources I listed at the end of guide. Good luck in your monking ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Yah, but when they run heroways or something. You got minions, thumpers and its all like balled up and i cant stop and see who is receiving damage from whom. Because ive got thumpers on me… Like is quite of hard.

  6. Guild Wars, first and foremost, is a team based game. Think of yourself as a goalie. Even if you are the best in the world, you’ll break eventually if your defenders are weak. Your performance as a monk will depend on the team you are playing for and the team you go against. If you are feeling too overwhelmed, you team might not be doing enough to help you or you are not being vocal enough to let them know about the situation.

    There is no magic pill that can solve your problem. You’ll get better with practice and will be able to do several activities at at time or even run on auto-pilot, but to be truly successful, you team has to improve as well.

  7. Yeah, thanks ive been practicing, and people now say me dude nice prot… I think im catching the trick. Thanks man. Observing gvgs and Ha matches are also VERY HELPFUL:P

  8. Hi,
    Thanks for the fantastic tutorial! Really nice resource.
    I understand all the theories about changing wep sets and observcing the field etc, but my problem comes in actually targetting the right players – its hard to know which players are which on the battlefield, so you can click on them in party window! But its equally hard to target them by clicking their character. How do u do this?
    Also, how can u consistently know which numers the other team are – there is no enemy party window for u to watch! How do u quickly target enemy number 1 for example?

    Its doing all these things at once, i fard riciculous! ๐Ÿ˜›

  9. I am glad that you found this guide helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for your targeting your allies, it really depends on the situation. You don’t have to click on players in the party window – you can use keys for selecting players such as keys 1-8 for respective player number. The most important part is field awareness. You should be able to see your opponents and allies and try to predict their moves. In cases where it is difficult to distinguish exactly whom they attack, you can use a mouse click.

    For example, in alliance battles ( sorry for bringing it up because it is almost PvE, but I do it just to illustrate a point ๐Ÿ˜› ), you might see that someone is attacking your ally. You have no idea who it is, and s/he is not on your party window. The only way to help this person is to point and click.

    Playing in RA without your party window can be a helpful experience to improve your field awareness and teammate selection.

    As for the enemies, C key is your friend ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ll often find yourself watching people who are going after you, so C key should be helpful in selecting your closest opponent. Also you can use Tab for quickly scanning the team. Of course you can use point and click as well if you want to select a particular opponent quickly.

    Monking is like learning to drive a car. At first you have to keep track of so many things, but, with practice, you’ll be able to run almost on auto-pilot.

    Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

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